Dr Ifalalde Oyekan, General Manager, Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Agency (LNSA), says the agency must be repositioned to fully take on effective community policing in the state.
Oyekan stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the ongoing three-day retreat of the agency in Lagos.
The theme of the retreat is “Rebranding the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Agency for Effective Community Policing.”
He said the retreat is aimed to rub minds, evaluate their performances, inefficiencies and have a new mindset for better operations in the year 2022.
“When we did our field monitoring, we discovered that our officers in some divisions are still not up to performing as expected.
“The Lagos State Governor is trying his best to ensure we climb the ladder and live up to expectations to be the best in community policing,” he said.
He said the restructuring and rebranding of the agency are in line with Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s THEMES Agenda.
The THEMES agenda are Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century state; Security and Governance.
He thanked Sanwo-Olu for his support and investment in the agency to serve as a model for others and the best in community policing.
He said the agency with the support of the state government had deployed some tools to aid effective operations such as the body-worn cameras, anti-riot shield, vehicles among others.
Speaking on the body-worn camera, Oyekan said: “Many people have been questioning us concerning the body-worn cameras that Sanwo-Olu commissioned some months ago.
“We have heard stories saying that we just kept the cameras and gave it to ‘elite’ people but that is not the case.
“The officers that were given are those who had already undergone training at the Lagos Law Enforcement Training Institute (LETI) and we are still going to have our in-house training for more officers.
“During the training, we would assess officers’ attitude, performance and technical skills before deploying the cameras to the best,” he said
He added that the agency had set up a situation room and software to monitor the officers with the cameras.
One of the facilitators, Mr Ibrahim Audu-Alqali, called for synergy between the Nigerian Police and the neighbourhood safety corps.
“Policing and safety is everybody’s business; so there is a need to bridge the gap between the police and the community policing system in Lagos State to ensure they work in synergy.
“They should not see the neighbourhood safety corps as competitors or rivals but as those doing the grassroots work for them,” he said.
Mrs Elizabeth Ogunbode, Director, Operations and Monitoring LNSA, said that at the end of the retreat, it is expected that officers become aware of their inadequacies, challenges and how to tackle them.
“We have discovered that some officers are perpetual absentees while others engage in illegal activities.
“We want positive change so that the State Government’s investment in the security will not be in vain,” she said.
Mr Oludolapo Omotoye, Director of Administration and Human Resources, said some of the things that make a good officer include physical fitness, emotional intelligence, attitude, responsiveness to the environment and compassion.
“Officers must be able to develop good relationships with the public to earn trust, be disciplined and act professionally.
“They are also encouraged to go for additional qualification as well as specialised training that can enhance their operations on the field,” he said. (NAN)